Saturday, November 17, 2012

OK, I Am A Sucker: We're Going Through With The SLIT

OK, I am a sucker. After a month of deliberation, we're going through with the sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT). I should have known better and just have agreed to it to start out with; could have saved myself the inner turmoil.


No, I am still not convinced that allergies are the cause behind Jasmine's episodes.

I really don't think so. I am sure—but am I right? That is the question.

If I don't think that allergies are really Jasmine's problem, why did I decide to agree to the testing and potentially the treatment? (We have to do the test first to find out whether Jasmine is a good candidate for the SLIT treatment or not)

Because I could be wrong. There would always be the question:

What if?

What if it really WAS allergies and the treatment could help Jasmine?

We love her vet for a reason. He is extremely smart, competent, and he really cares about Jasmine. He would also be the first one to tell us not to waste our money on something  he felt wouldn't have real benefit, or the money would be best spent elsewhere.

Is he right about the allergies?

I don't know. He believes so. I guess there is only one way to (potentially) find out. Potentially, because about 30% of dogs do not respond to immunotherapy, be it SLIT or injections. So there isn't much assurance that all this will lead anywhere.

Bottom line is, I couldn't bear passing on something that COULD help Jasmine.


The fact that we're not at all that convinced that allergies are to blame for Jasmine's episodes aside, other criteria which should be considered do check out.

1) Is the testing invasive or risky?

No, it's just a blood test and even though Jasmine hates getting her blood taking, there is no risk to her to speak of.

2) Is the treatment invasive or risky?

There is some risk with any treatment, but the allergy drops have reported as quite safe, and substantially safer than the injections.

3) Will the treatment improve Jasmine's quality of life?

Well, that is the question, isn't it? If allergies are causing her trouble after all, then it might.

The main reason we were struggling with this decision was

4) Will going through with the testing and treatment use up funds that might be more needed elsewhere?

To address this we decided to test for indoor/outdoor environmental allergies only at this time. That would bring the testing bit down to $300 plus whatever the cost of the proposed treatment ($135 or $195). It would be nice to revisit the food allergens as well, but since it is not pertinent to the SLIT treatment, it can wait.

So we're booking an appointment to get the blood drawn and then we'll have to wait and see whether Jasmine is a good candidate or not.

***

During our back and forth discussions with Jasmine's vet (God bless his patience) we revisited some of the other possible causes, and one of them kind of made it back on the table.

Could it be that Jasmine's episodes are caused by some kind of heart arrhythmia?

We know that there is nothing structurally wrong with her heart, but could it be an electrical problem? Something like that could certainly cause
  • stress
  • poor circulation in extremities (possible explanation for the paw chewing)
  • could last a few hours or couple days
  • could start at an early age

Not that I like that possibility better...


But it made its way back on the table and we are figuring out how to best confirm or exclude that one. Frankly, it would fit with my observations better than the allergies. But I'd still prefer if it was not it.

***

Note to self: you're a sucker, no point fighting it. Next time just get on with the program and save yourself the grief.

Related articles:
OK, I Am A Sucker: We're Going Through With The SLIT 
Jasmine's Episodes: Back To The Allergies Dilemma 
This Is What Jasmine's Episode Looks Like
Gotta Try Everything Once (Or Twice): On The Quest To Figure Out Jasmine's Episodes 
Thundershirt vs. Jasmine's Episodes
Jasmine's Mysterious Swelling And Another Experience With VetLiveThe Diagnosis Is In: Jasmine Has An Interdigital Cyst
Jasmine's Mysterious Swelling And Interdigital Cyst Update  
Is Crawling Under Things Some Kind Of Secret Physical Therapy?  
Is There No Place Safe? Jasmine's Acupuncture Session
Senior Sensory Systems Function: Zero Defects  
It Looks Like A Keeper: Jasmine's New Integrative Vet 
Jasmine's Acute Lameness
Jasmine Doesn't Like "Doing Time"
Our Of Jail Free Pass
When It's Looks Too Good To Be True … The Lameness Returns
The Day Of The Treatment
First Time For Everything: A Healing Crisis(?)  
From Zero To Sixty In Four Days: Stem Cells At Work
The Calm After The Storm 
If It Was Easy, It Wouldn't Be Jasmine
Practicing What I Preach: Jasmine's Semi Annual Wellness Exam  
No Skimping On Oral Care   

***
Meet Jasmine
I'm Still Standing! (Happy Birthday, Jasmine)
How Dogs Think (Well, Jasmine Anyway)
How The Oddysey Started: Jasmine's ACL Injury
Jasmine is Vet-Stem's poster child!
Rant About Quality Of Life Versus Quantity, And Differential Diagnoses
Jasmine Is Headed For Her Next Stem Cell Treatment
Jasmine's Stem Cells Are In
Arthritis? What Arthritis? 
Guess Who Is An Ever-Ready Bunny And Really Liking The Bit Of Snow We Got? 
Don't Knock It Until You Tried It: Animal Chiropractic 
Jasmine's Fur Analysis
Back At Chiropractic Care

8 comments

  1. I'd hardly call you a sucker for wanting to do whatever you can to help Jasmine. A sucker would be if you had no anguish, did no research, had no idea what the SLIT might do or not do and were just "I want to do ALL THE TESTS! Take my money, please!" Doesn't strike me as you ;0)

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    1. Thank you :-) I still kind of do feel like one, but you're right, at least I put a lot of work into it LOL

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  2. I don't think you're a sucker. I think you're trying to do whatever you can to help Jasmine feel better. And I admire your willingness to consider you might be wrong.

    We've been going through some similar processing with Bella. She has a shoulder(?) injury and her vet is convinced is one thing while we are convinced it's another. Our thoughts have aligned with yours - are the diagnostic tests dangerous? (No.) If they can identify the correct course of treatment, would that improve her quality of life? (Yes.) Can we afford it? (Yes but thank you PetPlan for help with that.)

    Like Kolchak says, you're not grasping at straws, you've done your analysis. I hope one way or another, you get some answers.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Leslie. I'm usually surprised when I'm willing to consider I might be right LOL

      Either way, in five short months we might find out who was right.

      Sorry about Bella's shoulder, what happened? Best of luck getting it diagnosed and fixed (((hugs)))

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  3. Why not just try her on steroids? They are cheap and guaranteed to stop any allergic reaction. If the episodes stop, then you'll know it's an allergy & you can do the test to rule out whatever is giving her grief.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Karen, thank you for stopping by! Yes, steroids are cheap. Besides the side effects, though, there is a huge number of things steroids can make feel/look better, so diagnostically it is actually not as helpful as it would seem.

      Some place I saw steroids referred to as "a reliever of most and curer of nothing."

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  4. Jasmine is lucky she has a family who cares so much about her - I hope you get some answers soon :)

    Big Wags to all,

    Your pal Snoopy :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Snoopy, yes, if love could heal, she'd be the healthiest dog in the universe ... :-)

      We'll find out whether she's a candidate for the treatment reasonably soon, but then have to wait 5 months to see whether the treatment does anything.

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